I attribute much of my daughter’s success to the skills she is learning in her therapeutic riding lessons. She has grown in social skills and athleticism that enriches her life.

– Matthew Clous

Our Mission

Dreams on Horseback was founded to help people with challenges improve their lives through horse-partnered learning experiences and education.

Give

Riley’s anxiety has lifted. Alicia takes her medicine willingly in exchange for riding lessons. Ben can walk farther and stand longer. Cameron’s attitude at school has improved. Ruth’s caregivers have seen a decrease in her agitation. Important dreams fulfilled by your gift of hope to Dreams on Horseback.

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Volunteer

As part of our team, you will get to live the dream right alongside our students, inspiring staff, and gentle horses. Have experience with horses? Wonderful! No experience? No problem! We will provide training and opportunity as you grow into an important part of our Dreams family of volunteers.

Apply to Volunteer

Participate

Riding lessons are offered to people of all ages and abilities. Depending on your personal goals, riding lesson objectives can range from therapeutic based activities on horseback to preparation for off-site horse show participation. Get started working toward your personal riding goals today!

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In The News

Covid-19 Protocols

Dreams on Horseback is opening its facilities in compliance with social distancing policies set in place by leading health and industry organizations including The Ohio Department of Health and PATH, International. For details of the plan and safety practices that have been implemented at our center to date, please link to the following letter from Executive Director Jennifer Hansen 0r our organizations FAQ sheet.

Military Connections at Dreams on Horseback:
Where Connection is Key

Disney, Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year Nominee: Bell-Wallace Family

Columbus Underground Features Dreams on Horseback 

In The News

John Ondo of OndoMedia was recently awarded his fourth Emmy for his video essay on the importance of the work we do at Dreams on Horseback to two of our participants and their families. Please enjoy John’s award winning film!

Military Connections 2018 from Ondo Media on Vimeo.

Events and News

John Newman 2020 Everyday Hero Semifinalist

John Newman, dedicated volunteer at Dreams on Horseback, was named a 2020 Everyday Hero Semifinalist for his work work with fellow military and veteran participants in our Military Connections program.  In addition to his commitment to military and veterans, John dedicates himself to children and adults enrolled in our therapeutic riding program, and helps with our facility maintenance, particularly the tractor-assisted management of our manure storage bin.  Please enjoy the story provided by The Columbus Dispatch (USA TODAY) about John and his commitment to Dreams on Horseback.  John will be the first to point out that he is but one of many volunteers that decimated thousands of hours collectively each year to support our participants.

Therapeutic Riders Back in the Saddle Despite the Pandemic

Therapeutic Riding Lessons often require sidewalkers who must be in close proximity to the riders.  In order to create a safer way to offer these lessons we have trained parents to act as sidewalkers.  Masks up, six feet apart when possible, and ready to ride - Dreams on Horseback is finding ways to continue our impactful work.

Dreams on Horseback Hosts Military Kids Camp

Children of military members were invited to attend two weeks of camp in June and July at which they not only enjoyed fun and learning, but also explored themes related to their lives as “military kids” like resilience and addressing anxiety.  This camp was sponsored by The ORIX Foundation and the Columbus Medical Association Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee.

Tri-Village Rotary Donation Launches Increased Supported Employment Opportunities at our Barns

With the help of Tri-Village Rotary, Dreams on Horseback is proud to have recently grown its staff of young people in need of supported employment to five employees.  These employees, all of whom have been enrolled at one time in our vocational programs at Dreams on Horseback, have now joined our barn care staff as part-time employees.  Dreams is uniquely suited to create a disability friendly environment to these young adults and is thrilled to benefit from their commitment to our barn and horses.

2019 NAWN Fashion Show Beneficiary

Dreams on Horseback was honored to be selected as the beneficiary of the New Albany Women’s Network 2019 Fashion Show. An incredible group of New Albany women, all members of NAWN, worked tirelessly to create an event that would support additional therapeutic riding opportunities at our center in 2020. Jennifer Hansen, Dreams on Horseback’s Executive Director, shared the story and impact of the organization she founded in 2002 and continues to lead today nearly two decades later. Dreams on Horseback would like to thank all those that supported NAWN’s Fashion Show.

 

 

Dreams on Horseback Earns Guidestar’s Gold Seal Award

Dreams on Horseback just earned a 2019 Gold Seal by adding information to our Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar. Now our community members as well as 10+ million GuideStar users can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in Central Ohio.

Our Programs

Program Descriptions

While Dreams on Horseback frequently custom designs programs for diverse groups, the following reflect our permanent programming opportunities:

Therapeutic Riding Lessons

Children and adults with special needs tackle their individual challenges from atop one of our kind and gentle therapy horses. Trained and certified instructors use engaging activities and games to encourage their students to solve problems, face fears, and complete physical tasks. Students are assisted by supportive side-walkers and a horse handler as they grow in competence.

Equine Assisted Learning

Horses are unique in their ability to read our non-verbal cues and give clear non-verbal feedback to us. These natural responses by our equine partners lay the groundwork for gifted instructors to lead participants on a journey of introspection. Participants may be asked to observe their equine partner’s response to them. What does this tell the participant about himself? It is up to the participant to decide.

Alzheimer’s Sensory Experiences

Seniors enjoy an outing to the farm where they are introduced to our horses through a variety of sensory experiences such as grooming, touching, education and observation. These sessions are led by our sensitive staff who have years of experience serving our seniors. An OSU study conducted in conjunction with Dreams on Horseback found that this program lessened agitation in participants.

Vocational Training

Dreams on Horseback offers young adults with special needs the opportunity to learn valuable work and social skills needed for the workplace. Students learn and provide the authentic service of caring for our barn and horses. Staff helps students realize and implement skills which will guarantee their success in their first work experience beyond Dreams on Horseback.

Military Connections at Dreams on Horseback

Dreams on Horseback is honored to host our military and veterans. These men and women learn the joys of horsemanship while participating in equine-assisted learning workshops that are designed with the unique experiences of military personnel and veterans in mind. Military and veterans are given the training necessary to serve as side-walkers or handlers for fellow service men or women riders or for our therapeutic lesson students.

Field Trips

Would your group enjoy a trip to the farm? Let us design a field trip customized to your time frame and preferred format (educational or experiential). Experience life on the farm, learn some fun facts about horses and their care, go for a handler led ride, and enjoy our beautiful grounds where you can lunch creek side in our beautiful wooded picnic grounds.

Traditional Riding Lessons

Dreams on Horseback offers traditional riding lessons for individuals wishing to learn to ride in either the English or Western tradition. These lessons are open to all individuals weighing less than 200 lbs. Whether your goals are to learn basic riding and horsemanship skills, or to prepare for off-grounds horse showing, Dreams on Horseback can help you reach your goals. Most traditional lessons are held at Stepping Stone Stables.

Corporate Team Building

Groups, such as corporate work teams, can also benefit from Equine Assisted Learning Methods. Participants are challenged to examine their role in their group by working together to meet a challenge put forth by the instructor. You'll never know where equine assisted learning might take you.

Schedule a Visit Today

Our programs, trips, and experiences are customize-able and flexible to fit a diverse array of needs. Contact us soon to find out more.

Our Partners and Donors

Helping others reach their dreams through horse-partnered programming can only happen through the pairing of our passion and your generous support. We thank you!